For one of the leading US consulting agencies Itransition was entrusted to build a secure BI portal, uniting online data gathering tools, third-party software modules, and the internal data processing center.
Our customer, who is among the leading US consulting agencies specializing in brand building, helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online.
This challenging mission would be impossible without smart software enabling to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making.
Big B2C players, such as food producers or home electronics manufacturers, constantly face the challenge of managing their brand perception across multiple product lines and consumer audiences. Along with continuous investments in research, production processes improvement and quality management companies have to encourage positive customer feedback while mitigating the negative impact of bias in social media.
Our customer, who is in the top of US consulting agencies specializing on brand building — helps its clients to successfully overcome the most sophisticated issues of monitoring and influencing their brands online. This challenging task would be irresolvable without smart software able to collect and analyze brand mentions, detect issues and facilitate related decision making.
None of all-in-one software products available on the market adequately met the highly specialized needs of our client. Working for huge enterprises with hundreds of products often targeted at different consumer segments our customer required a powerful integrated solution grounded on the company’s unique knowledge and experience.
After working for quite a long time with several isolated software tools — and facing unwanted delays, workflow interruptions and weak consistency — the customer’s executive team came to the decision to invest in business process automation. The underlying business objectives were clearly formulated and aimed at:
The achieved objectives were expected to facilitate the accomplishment of global business-critical tasks: to boost cost-effectiveness, to support strategic decision making and to fasten brand management issue reaction time.
In accordance with the described business goals the higher-level functional scope of the future system resulted in 5 major blocks, requiring to:
To achieve these goals Itransition was entrusted to build a secure BI portal, uniting online data gathering tools, third-party software modules, and the internal data processing center.
The tailored Business Intelligence portal delivered by Itransition encapsulates 4 major solutions providing an end-to-end data processing capability.
For better understanding of how the system works the diagram below represents a high-level architecture of the whole solution.
Extracting data from multiple sources and loading it to the central BI storage was a fundamental task to be completed to enable further analytical processing. The major challenge for Itransition was to integrate a few modules provided by third parties, which were not initially designed to work in one bundle.
API integration was performed to seamlessly connect two web tools used to collect information from across the web, to the portal. On top of that, Itransition utilized Google API making it possible for the Customer to keep track of Google Analytics statistics and trends via Google Insights.
One more software module brings the data reflecting brand behavior in offline resources such as TV or print publications. The software has poor interoperability so we had no chance to work with API and required to find an alternative solution to extract the data from remote servers and upload it into central BI storage. To overcome the issue, the team came up with a XML parsing solution that can pull data from an external source and rapidly transform it into web content.
A sufficient piece of information was contained only in CSV files. Itransition’s team incorporated the data from those files into the BI data mart. This was achieved through delivering a connecting module to the file repository. The module can extract and load data to the mart automatically.
The information extracted from the variety of sources is then to be prepared for analytical processing. This involves not only advanced Data Manipulation functionality but also Data Quality Management techniques including cleansing, normalization, consistency verification, avoiding duplications, etc. Finally, the data is mapped to the analytical database structure to serve as a reliable and representative data mart easy to work with.
The nature of business data the customer deals with requires processing of huge information volumes gained from multiple sources and updated frequently, so we had to develop a really scalable and high-performance solution for fast dynamic data aggregation and presenting it in a variety of analytical views.
OLAP is an acronym for Online Analytical Processing. OLAP performs multidimensional analysis of business data and provides the capability for complex calculations, trend analysis, and sophisticated data modeling.
Built with best database development and OLAP practices the analytical kernel allows 360-degree picture of brand behavior in social media and is flexible to configure/customize reports and analytical views to match specifics of the brand under monitoring.
All the efforts spent on data gathering would have no value without providing analysts with the possibility to easily recognize brand state, dynamics and trends via data visualization. Itransition created rich presentation layer combining traditional data visualization tools with advanced techniques of semantic analysis and instance relationship visualization.
The aggregated information is presented in customizable dynamic grids, drilldowns, charts and visual indicators.
Since early beginning, the top priorities from the project management perspective were risk mitigation and smooth knowledge transfer between the customer’s in-house and Itransition teams. This focus was perfectly supported by Itransition’s composite iterative approach to Software Development Life Cycle meaning fixed transparent deliverables on high-level iterations combined with a formal Agile development inside low-level development phases.
By consequently accomplishing compact tasks and meeting the expectations on every iteration, the Itransition team gained the customer’s confidence and, in the end, was entrusted to deliver the whole complex system.
The cost-effective partnership terms together with a very positive collaboration experience secured by Itransition’s mature knowledge sharing practices allowed the Customer to integrate our remote team into the business process, thus cutting TCO without losing control over critical business software. For the time being, Itransition provides continuous support, and maintenance and updates, including developing new modules of the system.
As it becomes clear from business context, the software solution delivered by Itransition is a core business-critical instrument for the customer. The solution not only boosts the customer’s operational efficiency, but gives the possibility to provide clients with value-adding services. Moreover, the tool appears to be extremely useful for the customer, as it helps to identify weak points in his own business processes and to make appropriate improvements and investment decisions.